Texas baseball coach David Pierce celebrates a 9-3 win over UConn at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Feb. 26, 2017. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Baseball

Longhorns join a trio of Big 12 rivals in the Perfect Game/Rawlings preseason poll

Posted January 10th, 2018

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According to one poll, Texas will start this baseball season exactly where it finished its last campaign.

Texas was ranked 23rd in the Perfect Game/Rawlings preseason poll, which was unveiled on Wednesday. UT closed out last year in the 23rd slot in the same publication’s season-ending ranking.

Texas was one of four Big 12 teams listed in the preseason poll. The Longhorns were joined by No. 3 TCU, No. 4 Texas Tech and No. 18 Oklahoma.

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Texas went 39-24 in its first year with head coach David Pierce, and the Longhorns’ season ended in the final game of a regional hosted by Long Beach State.  Pitcher Nolan Kinghman, who was tabbed as a Perfect Game/Rawlings Preseason All-American this week, is among the team’s returnees. Infielders David Hamilton and Ryan Reynolds, outfielder Austin Todd and designated hitter Kody Clemens all made at least 35 starts last year.

The Longhorns, however, will have a new look when their season opens on Feb. 16. Eleven Longhorns were drafted last June, and none of the eligible players returned to campus. Catcher Michael Cantu also left the team.

Before it starts its spring with a three-game series against Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas will scrimmage its alumni on Feb. 3.

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